Information for exchange students

Are you interested in an exchange programme at Viaa? Welcome! On this page, you will find all relevant information about an exchange period at Viaa.


In case you are moving to the Netherlands for your study it is important to consider that you might need housing. For most programmes students will have to find their own place to stay for the time they are spending in The Netherlands. This however, does not apply to the SPICE-programme: students get to stay with a host family for the time of their studies.


Although studying is a big part of your exchange programme, there will also be time for other things. Travelling through the country for example. However, how to get there, and by which means of transportation can be quite difficult in a new country. Below we have compiled a list of the most common ways of transport for students in the Netherlands.

At Viaa we have already taken care of the main form of local transportation for you. One of our wonderful orange Viaa-bikes will be at your disposal for getting around town, biking from home to school and vice-versa.

When you are traveling to the major cities in the Netherlands you can decide to take the train. From Zwolle train station many trains depart to various cities in the Netherlands, most of the big ones even within an hour!

In case you are visiting smaller towns or areas that cannot be reached by train, you can use the very extensive bus network in the Netherlands to reach almost every small village or place.

When you are travelling a lot within the Netherlands, it might be easy to purchase an ov-chip card. For more information check the website of ‘OV-Chipkaart’,


Viaa is housed in a newly renovated building. The building exudes transparency to the outside world. This matches what Viaa stands for: educating young professionals for their position in today’s society.

The building provides a sustainable and comfortable interior climate. In addition to classrooms and workplaces, Viaa features an extensive multimedia library, classrooms equipped with computers for students, a restaurant and a spacious assembly hall where students can meet for lunch or study.

Travelling through Europe

Studying in the Netherlands as an exchange student also means a great opportunity to see more of Europe. Many students that have come to study at Viaa during their exchange semester visited many cities in Europe. There are several airports in the Netherlands that have direct connections to almost every city in Europe. It is also possible to take the train to European cities within a few hours reach of the Netherlands.

Residence permit

Depending on the country you are from, it might be necessary to apply for a travel permit for the Netherlands, before you apply for the actual residence permit.

When studying at a university of applied sciences in the Netherlands this will all be taken care of for you. The institution will be functioning as a referent for your stay and study in the Netherlands.

Credits and grading

In order to obtain your credits you will need to pass the exams or assignments that have been assigned to you. Most educational institutions in the Netherland use the following grading system:

  1. (Very poor)
  2. (Poor)
  3. (Very unsatisfactory)
  4. (Unsatisfactory)
  5. (Almost satisfactory)
  6. (Satisfactory)
  7. (More than satisfactory)
  8. (Good)
  9. (Very good)
  10. (Excellent)


The Dutch law requires everyone to have a healthcare insurance, this applies to every visitor that will be staying for a longer period of time, also exchange students that are staying for just a few months.

There are three possibilities:

  • Take out Dutch public health insurance when you are doing an internship or work part-time.
  • There is no need to take out a Dutch Public health insurance when your insurance policy covers necessary healthcare in the Netherlands, this applies when you are a EU/EEA citizen.
  • Take out an new or additional policy that will cover medical treatment in the Netherlands when necessary, this applies to non EU/EEA citizens.